Mild tenant protections added at last-minute to eviction legislation

By: - June 3, 2019 2:39 pm
affordable housing story

Rents in Nevada increased at more than twice the rate of inflation in the last five years.

affordable housing story
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On the last day of the legislative session, Democratic lawmakers passed a few mild tenant protections.

Last-minute amendments were added to Senate Bill 151 — legislation that previously passed both houses and slightly extends the time frame for evictions — which allows people to retrieve essential items such as medication, basic clothing and baby formula following an eviction, and puts late fees for unpaid rent at 5 percent.

The move comes after Senate Bill 256, which sought to enhance tenant rights, died in early May.

Sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, SB 256 would have prevented a landlord from applying rent payments to outstanding fees — when a landlord does this, it means rent is technically unpaid and a tenant could face eviction — and would have also required landlords to return security deposits in less than three weeks opposed to 30 days under the current law.

SB 256 was opposed heavily by Realtors, who called the legislation a “slap in the face.” Housing advocates say Realtors are lobbying against the last minute additions to SB151 as well.

Expanding tenant protections and changing eviction laws is a multi-pronged approach for lawmakers to deal with the state’s affordable housing crisis.

Note: This story was updated to reflect the amendments passage. 

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.